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Title: Change management? : organisational change strategies and managers' and workers' responses : a case study of a commercial vehicle manufacturing plant in southern India
Author: Venkataraman, Anuratha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 563X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the conception, implementation and outcomes of corporate management change strategies through an ethnographic study of a commercial vehicle manufacturing plant in Southern India with a history of labour-management conflict. Participant observation and interviews were carried out mainly within one manufacturing facility between July 2008 and June 2009, with a further visit in 2011. Towards the end of my fieldwork I also interviewed trade union conveners, activists and a cross-section of workers. The change management programme at the case study firm sought to implement the precepts of lean manufacturing by removing systemic inefficiencies in inventory management and production processes and installing a new organisational culture that promoted greater participation and self-initiative among workers and managers. Investigating the reasons for this programme’s very partial success made it possible to understand better the contradictory pressures faced by corporate management, the challenges encountered by senior plant managers and the factors shaping the reception of management policies by middle managers and workers. The thesis furthers our understanding of the limits of managerial agency by integrating two largely independent strands of enquiry: the rich ethnographic studies of the labour process, by Delbridge [1998], Milkman [1997], Durand and Hatzfeld [2003] and others, that consider the implementation and denouement of Japanese modes of work organisation such as lean manufacturing, and the granular focus on managerial subjectivities that shape managerial activity and condition managerial agency, represented by the work of Watson [1994], Jackall [1988] and Dalton [1950]. In addition, it documents the importance of broader political-economic contexts in determining the outcomes of management initiatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management